Aragon Ballroom - Chicago, USA
Review by Frogstomp@aol.com
My friends and I arrived about twenty minutes before the show started. We were surprised to find that there was no line, quite unlike the show at the Vic Theater two months before, when there was a line stretching a full city block. We headed for the door and when we had been searched, we went inside.
The place was enormous compared to the last show. Local H is a popular band in the Chicagoland area, and their addition to the bill couldn't have hurt. After climbing the stairs to the room in which they would perform, we saw the huge heating vents from the "freak" video behind the stage. I thought about how much I missed that amazing backdrop from last time, the one that said "a show of living curiosities."
After we found a suitable place to stand, we talked and listened to the Alice in Chains playing in the background. Suddenly the lights dimmed and out came Handsome. "This is a pleasant surprise," commented my friend. That's what he said at the last show. Handsome can rock pretty hard, I must admit, but after the first song, the lead singer Jeremy's voice started to get to me. It was high pitched and didn't match the heavy guitar playing of the rest of them. Finally they left.
The lights came back up and again and my friend Andy and I were given time to search for Pete. We went up in the balconies and everything but there was no sign of him. As we were walking back I spotted him with a cup of coffee walking around. We talked for a while and he said he'd see if the guys had time to meet my friends and me. A couple of minutes after he left, the AC/DC speed metal turned off and the lights went out.
The crowd went completely nuts. Local H's song "Bound for the Floor" has been getting heaps of air play on the radio, and as I said, they are pretty popular. All of us have been wondering how the band has a bass when there are only two guys. It sounded like the lowest string on his guitar was actually a bass string, so that's our most realistic hypothesis. They played a painfully long set, and by the time they finished, it seemed like everybody there was exhausted. Our initial sugar high was over and we all had to sit down and wait.
We all waited nervously when the lights came back on. Would we get to meet silverchair? Andy began tediously attempting to teach his brothers the names of each band member, just in case. When Pete showed up he apologized and handed me a note. "This is from Chris," he said. "I know it's not as cool as meeting them, but they said they'd be back in Chicago." "Cool, thanks," I replied half-heartedly. Under any other circumstances, that would have been the coolest thing in the world, but we were so close to meeting them. As I began to read it over a thousand times, it sunk in, this was amazing. "Chris wrote this," I said. "Man, silverchair signed this personally, without even seeing me. This is awesome!!!!"
Shortly the lights dimmed. Violent feminine screams made me cover my ears momentarily. I waited for the circus music that accompanied their entry last time, but instead there was some weird guitar music that I had never heard before. I knew what was coming: "slave," one of the coolest silverchair songs. They did the first three chords, and the lights went out. About 15 seconds later they played the next three. After another 15 seconds they began to blast through the rest of the song. The crowd was jumping and going crazy.
After "slave" had faded out, they began on "roses." Next came "findaway." After that was finished, they paused and Daniel thanked the two other bands. He also commented on how they taught him various masturbation techniques. The middle of the set is hard to remember, but I do know it consisted of "tomorrow," during which Daniel substituted "in Chicago" instead of "out of the tap." There were "abuse me," "pure massacre," "faultline," and "suicidal dream" During the next pause Daniel said, "I saw two guys over there in the back fighting, at least I thought they were men, I really couldn't tell. Now, if you could just make love. You know we are all gay inside." I felt kinda weird after that comment, but dismissed it as I watched some middle aged guy play air guitar to "the door."
After the last song before another pause faded out, Daniel thanked some leader of some masturbation club or something. During the ending feedback of one of the songs, the coils of the huge heating vents began the shine. The band hammered out a wonderful rendition of "freak." Later on in the show, Daniel introduced "no association as: "track number five."
The last song they played before the encore was just what I had been waiting to hear, "madman." The coolest thing about it was that the last set of palm muted chords before the end was this cool solo thing.
After they put their instruments away, my ride looked at his watch. "Ten o'clock," he said. "And I've got tons of homework." There was no arguing. As we departed I could hear the song "Minor Threat" being played, probably with some guy from Local H or Handsome singing. I expected to hear "lie to me" or "leave me out," two of their coolest live songs, but instead I could hear the bass from "israel's son." The show was over. As I got into the car, I made sure I still had my note from Chris. As we drove away I opened my window and listen to Daniel screaming, "I am I am Israel's son, Israel's son I am..."